One of the tech news stories this week brought a really cool new tool to my attention. It’s called CloudReady by Neverware, and it aims to bring the Chrombook experience to just about any piece of hardware. Many times, old laptops and computers simply cannot run newer versions of Windows anymore. They’re just too slow and doggy to be productive. But what if the OS was just Chome (like in a Chromebook)?
I’ve been using a Chromebook as my laptop for over a year, and for the most part I’ve found it more than adequate for my needs. Chrome is my primary web browser, and I utilize most of Google’s productivity services for my personal workflow. This means that as long as I have Chrome, I can get most of what I need done. The idea that you can turn old laptops into more useful machines by turning them into Chromebooks is an awesome idea, and so I knew I had to try it out.
Before I tried to dig up any old laptops, I first wanted to just see what the experience was like. So I created a Virtualbox image from the download and got it up and running in a virtual machine in about 10-15 minutes. Sure enough, the screen that greeted me was the same Chromebook login screen I’m used to. I used one of my secondary Google accounts to log in, and started poking around. So far I haven’t found anything that doesn’t work like a Chromebook. Now I just need to go digging around for some old hardware to play with (insert evil cackle here…)
I’m very impressed with this idea, and it appears that they have a great business model to help organizations like school repurpose old equipment and give it new life. If you’ve got an old laptop around collecting dust, it could be worth giving it a try. It won’t work on every laptop, but a lot of them out there will work just fine. It will even work on some old Apple hardware. I love finding creative projects like this, and so I wanted to spread the word just a bit about what some cool people are doing.